French retailer Auchan is to close its last two US hypermarkets, both of which are situated in Houston, within three months.

The two stores, which employ around 700 people each, have suffered due to increased competition from rivals such as US retail giant Wal-Mart and are making losses.

Auchan, which also once had stores in the US city of Chicago, is now planning to focus on the markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, China and Taiwan, reported the Associated Press.